Finding a mentor can be a daunting prospect for those who have not already actively sought a mentor before. But take heart, unless you have been living in isolation all of your life, you have had mentors in the past. They could have been teachers, coaches, friends, or your parents! So put the fear and trepidation behind you and go out and find those people whom you respect and feel could be good advocates, coaches and support for your in pursuing your career and life goals.
Potential mentors are all around you. Good sources of mentors include almost any of your close associations. These could be within your own company, such as your management team, or peer groups. Some companies have established professional groups for the purpose of encouraging networking and development of mentoring relationship. Seek these groups out, or if they do not exist perhaps lead the charge in developing them.
Other sources may include industry or professional associations, such as Project Management Institute for project managers, or the Institute for Supply Management for supply chain professionals. Online communities such as LinkedIn, Facebook or MySpace provide excellent potential for networking and meeting potential mentors. If you are a religious person you may consider establishing mentoring relationships with your clergy and/or members of your congregation. Another often overlooked source is professors or alumni associations.
You may also consider people that are outside of your workplace or profession, such as retirees, local business owners, consultants and people who share similar interests or hobbies. The local Chamber of Commerce, or local social clubs are often excellent venues for networking with the potential mentors.
Again, it is important that prior to beginning your search for a mentor, or mentors, that you do some soul searching and understand why you want a mentor. What are the goals of the relationship? Having done this you will be in a much better position to identify potential mentors when you see them.